THUNDER BAY – Effective at noon today, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue has issued a fire ban on all outdoor burning within the City of Thunder Bay. The ban on outdoor burning is consistent with the recent Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests Restricted Fire Zone declaration.
Residents are reminded that all outdoor burning permits are suspended when a fire ban is in effect. Any outdoor burning during a fire ban will result in prosecution and a substantial fine. The ban will be lifted when weather conditions improve.
Thunder Bay Fire Chief Hay says that the ban allows the use of a charcoal barbecue used for cooking.
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue appreciates the community’s cooperation and will advise when the suspension of permits and fire ban is lifted.
Shuniah has also enacted a Restricted Fire Zone.
Due to the increasing fire hazard and the increased forest fire activity in the Northwest Region, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has ordered a Restricted Fire Zone for the region, including the Municipality of Shuniah, in effect at 12:00pm today until such time as the order is revoked by the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
This will mean that all fire permit privileges are suspended and no open fires or fireworks will be allowed within the municipality.
What is a Restricted Fire Zone?
A Restricted Fire Zone is a specific geographic area where the use of open fires, like campfires or debris burning, is restricted.
It is a temporary measure put in place by the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry when the fire danger is extreme to prevent human-caused fires. A Restricted Fire Zone order may last from a few days to weeks depending on conditions. The restrictions are lifted as soon as conditions allow.
When a Restricted Fire Zone is declared, it is illegal to set a fire within the affected area. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as the financial responsibility for any costs incurred in fighting a forest fire caused by the illegal act.
You can still go camping, hiking, fishing, and have fun outdoors, but if you need heat for cooking and warmth, you’ll have to use a portable gas or propane stove. Portable charcoal equipment (e.g., BBQs, Hibachis, etc.) are illegal for use during a Restricted Fire Zone except close to a dwelling that you legally own or occupy or in an organized campground.
Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to continue enjoying campfires during a Restricted Fire Zone period provided certain conditions are met.